Writings for the Net Peter Suber, Philosophy Department, Earlham College
My Berkman Center page of writings is more current than this one. Peter.
Also see my page of academic publications, most of which are digital copies of print publications.
Here are some miscellaneous writings that have not already been formally published. Some I wrote for audiences; others I wrote chiefly to clarify matters for myself. Some are too personal or too long to publish easily in standard journals. Until the web came along, they were destined for the archive disk and the desk drawer. Some were written specifically for the web.
My course hand-outs fall into this category, but in general I keep them off this page and on my various course home-pages.
My "second thoughts" on published essays also belong in this category. But rather than list them here, I've put them on my page of academic publications, where they are associated with the pieces on which they comment.
I will seek formal publication one day for some of these writings; for these, the web is my preprint exchange. For others, I will never seek formal publication; for these, the web is my publishing house. In either case I hope their presence here will invite comment and dialogue.
I list my writings on open access on a separate page.
- Against the Sanctity of Life (85k) An attempt to articulate and criticize the position underlying much of the "right-to-life" movement. Some nuanced "pro-life" positions are compatible with this critique.
- Antarctic expedition (28k) Log of my 1996 trip.
- Becoming Free (43k) My baccalaureate address at Earlham College, June 1987.
- Classical Skepticism (121k) An exposition of Pyrrhonian skepticism, based on the writings of Sextus Empiricus, with replies to common objections, and a sketch of how this form of skepticisim evolved and mutated in western intellectual history.
- Commonwealth v. Twitchell (44k) My HTML edition of the text of the appellate court opinions, 617 N.E.2d 609 (1993). Lightly edited for non-lawyers.
- An English Homophone Dictionary (57k) At one time the largest on the web, but no longer updated. Made in collaboration with A.L.P. Thorpe.
- Geometry and Arithmetic Are Synthetic (51k) A defense of Kant's thesis using post-Kantian mathematics and logic.
- Greece on the Atlantic (6k) An idle explication of the geographic isomorphism of Greece and the Blue Hill Peninsula in Maine.
- Guide to the Free Online Scholarship Movement. (190+k) A guide to the terminology, acronyms, initiatives, standards, technologies, and players in the movement to publish scientific and scholarly literature on the internet and make it available to readers free of charge.
- How To Use Philosopher's Index (13k) Instructions for using the hardcopy and electronic versions of this index, written for my students. Most of the instructions for the electronic version only apply at Earlham.
- Knot So Fast (12k) A proposal for regulating the world knot tying speed record.
- Knot Tying Notation (156k) A "programming language" to record the steps in a knot tying method.
- The Inductive Game of Rubik's Cube (20k) A new and harder way to play Rubik's Cube, with some strategy tips.
- Metaphilosophical Topics (89k) A large, personal list of questions about the nature of philosophy.
- Mind and Baud Rate (31k) Questions, speculations, and meditations on the relation between the speed of bit-switching and the emergence of intelligence and selfhood.
- Model Open-Access Policy for Foundation Research Grants (32k) A model policy for any public or private funding agency that wants to require open access to the results of the research funded by its grants.
- Mozert v. Hawkins City Board of Education (99k) My HTML edition of the text of the Circuit Court opinions, 827 F.2d 1058 (1987). Lightly edited for non-lawyers.
- Notes on Logic Notation on the Web (11k) Tracking proposals and progress in getting support for logic notation into a future version of HTML, and methods for bypassing HTML.
- Open Access News (Formerly, FOS News). A weblog to supplement my newsletter. The blog archive is searchable.
- The Paradox of Liberation (72k) Variations on the theme that one is not free until one freely chooses to become free. I find traces of the theme in Kant, Dennett, and Mill, and show their strategies for preventing the claim from becoming a contradiction.
- The Problem of Beginning (76k) A survey of the methods philosophers have used to justify their point of departure or avoid the need to justify it.
- Reflections on 9/11, One Year Later (7k) Thoughts on our loss of freedom, and its simultaneous acceptance and denial in the name of patriotism.
- Self-Determination and Selfhood in Recent Legal Cases (50k) How U.S. courts decided a few headliner cases about self-determination and what theories of the human person they assumed.
- Six Exploding Knots (21k) Six variations on slipped hitches that are especially easy to untie.
- SPARC Open Access Newsletter (formerly, Free Online Scholarship Newsletter). My newsletter on the movement to publish scientific and scholarly literature on the internet and make it available to readers free of charge. The back issues are searchable.
- Stages of Argument (28k) A description of four stages of sophistication in argument, for use by teachers and others who would benefit from a framework for the rapid diagnosis and evaluation of argument strategies.
- Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" (56k) An electronic version of Thoreau's text that I corrected by close comparison with Walter Harding's critical edition.
- Timeline of the Free Online Scholarship Movement (23k) Landmark events in the movement to publish scientific and scholarly literature to the internet and make it available to readers free of charge.
- Translation Tips for the Language of First Order Logic (85k) Rules and tips for translating from English into logical notation.
- When We Leave Our Desks (43k) My baccalaureate address at Earlham College, June 1992. An essay on metaphilosophy in disguise.
- WireWise. An occasional newsletter of tips for academic web users that I write with Liffey Thorpe.
- Women Philosophers of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Bibliographic notes for students in my course on 17th and 18th century philosophy.
- A Word on Argument and Inquiry. An appendix to the handbook for students in Earlham's Humanities Program.
Research Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College
Open Access Project Director, Public Knowledge
Senior Researcher, SPARC